If good comedy is rooted in pain, well I guess EMD Serono (division of Merck), makers of Gonal-F and Ovidrel, have nailed it. As part of a guerilla marketing campaign, EMD Serono has launched these five web-videos available on the dedicated website, IncreaseYourChances.org. The site then links to a more educational site, Fertility Lifelines.
We follow along the story of Neil and Karen, a bee and a bird, who are desperately trying to conceive. With a dash of poignant humor, the web-videos touch upon the many emotional issues that infertility stirs in us. From attending baby showers to sex-on-demand to the toll that it takes on a marriage.
Browsing through the various sites to glean some of the reactions, I was happily surprised to find that most people appreciated the positive step that this campaign was taking -- making the IF struggle public, opening the door for dialogue and highlighting the everyday anguish. But, some found the spots offensive and belittling the terrible heartache that is infertility. Some suggested that advertisers would never make fun of ED, for instance.
If I were to put my former-TTC cap on, I am quickly reminded of my hyper-sensitivity and my inability to deal with anything that reminded me of our "failures." Yes, pharmaceutical ads don't usually parody illnesses, so why should infertility turn into a joke? But, if I were to put my former-ad-girl and now hindsight-20/20-girl hats on (Ok, I realize that's two hats, but work with me here), I would say the web-videos are rooted in true insight, and the use of humor makes the stories more accessible -- they stay with you; the little details, the nervous laughs. Furthermore, this campaign has tremendous legs (ad speak for opportunities to do more in other media). Perhaps we will continue to follow Neil and Karen on their journey as they do see an fertility specialist, hence further expanding on the countless ways in which infertility affects a couple's lives. And I actually applaud EMD Serono for allowing themselves to be taken outside the box of traditional pharma advertising (good creatives and account people at that ad agency!).
I want to hear from you. What did you think about the campaign?
P.S. Thank you to my fellow blogger, This is More Personal, for sharing these videos.